Spring migrants trickling through - 23 Apr 2010

Only a handful of reports this week but presumably migrants are still trickling through. Watchers in the New York City area have been lamenting the very early leafing of trees in the city parks (making canopy feeders hard to spot) and the fact that migrants have paused only briefly before moving northwards. Anyway, the South Fork should start seeing local breeders such as Green Heron, Least Tern, Chimney Swift, Great-crested Flycatcher, Wood Thrush, Yellow Warbler, Black-and-White Warbler and House Wren beginning to arrive in the next few days. Blue-winged Teal should be in peak passage as well but I only know of 2 reports, the 4 birds Hugh McGuinness had on Hook Pond earlier in the month and the 2 that John Shemilt and I saw offshore on Wednesday. My sense is that this attractive duck has declined significantly as a migrant through coastal NY over the past decade. The fringes of fresh or brackish water ponds are probably the best places to look but many also travel along the coast mixed with scoter flocks.

**Recent Reports**

On Monday (19 Apr) Luke Ormand photographed a Little Blue Heron off Dune Road just east of the Docker's Restaurant. On Wednesday (21 April) Hugh McGuinness found a
first year (i.e. 2nd calender year) Bald Eagle on Long Pond in Sag Harbor. Evidently there is something very attractive about this pond to eagles and Hugh had a different individual there as recently as 11 April. The Caspian Tern that showed sporadically at Mecox Inlet last weekend has now become two Caspians. This is perhaps the peak time for the species in our area, with Royal Terns predominating in the late summer and fall.
Dave Shore noticed two Eastern Kingbirds in East Quogue (22 Apr).

**Predictions & Queries**

-- Anybody have WORKING email addresses for Chris Roberts, Carl Safina and Larry Penny? I'd like to add them to the recipient list.
-- American Bittern - Did anyone see one along Dune Rd this year?
-- American Golden Plover - Worth keeping in mind, one was found at the eastern end of the Jones Beach strip last weekend (Cedar Beach) and a scattering in central NY. Be mindful of Black-bellied Plovers in transitional plumages.
-- American Woodcock - I've not received any reports this year but I'm sure there were plenty displaying in suitable habitat. Can anybody help me out?

-- Yellow-crowned Night-Heron - perhaps along Dune Road either side of Shinnecock Inlet?
-- Whip-poor-will - One already heard mid-island and also in RI, so keep your ears open after dark.
-- Orange-crowned Warbler - recent reports from a number of coastal sites but alas none from the South Fork this year.

Lastly, a Swallow-tailed Kite was noted across the Sound in Barrington, Rhode Island this week, so there's hope....(of course, no worries for Vicki 'lucky' Bustamante ;)) )